letters
FROM READERS - APRIL '00

How to give out your phone number?

Your advice about internet relationships is extremely valuable. What I'd like to know is, are there any alternatives to "giving out the number of a payphone to have the person you're emailing"? While that's fairly safe, often it's not practical. Can you suggest another way of contacting?

Wild's Reply - Good question! You know what? There is no absolutely safe way to do something. It's been suggested that you could use a prepaid phone card (wouldn't that still show on caller ID?) to simply using some of the free internet phone software that's out now. Probably the latter is the best way to go. It still means somebody has to give out a phone number though. You can still use programs like pow-wow I guess, if you're system has a decent sound card with full duplexing. I'm still waiting for good ideas from others.

I have read some of the letters mostly about married men and women who have been caught up with the joy of meeting new people, only to have it turn bad. I am one of those people. I am married, and three years met a woman on line who lived far away. She was mar


Gone with the Wind

I just wanted to relate what happened to me recently. Last april I met a wonderful guy online and we chatted daily, exchanged phone numbers and chatted every nite. We met and were quite in love. We made plans for him to move here -- right down to discussing where his furniture would go. His last letter to me was full of love. Then WHAM, he blocked my phone, BAM he blocked my e-mail... deleted all his screen names... Ok, I see its over, but gee... what a terrible way to end things. He could have written, he could have called... That was not the way to end things. Thanks for letting me have my two cents worth.

Wild's Reply - Yup, he sure could. But that would have required something he obviously did not have - a spine, backbone, vertebra, call it what you will. I don't know why it's preferable to take the low road and skank off into oblivion leaving people who care about you to wonder and worry, but that seems to be the way of the net. You're welcome.


Join the Club!

HI, I SAW A SPECIAL ON A & E LAT WEEK AND IT WAS VERY INTERESTING.IT WAS ABOUT INTERNET LOVE AND IT GOT ME THINKING ABOUT MY BOYFRIEND AND I AND HOW WE MET ONLINE.WE MET THROUGH FRIEND AND WE TOOK IT FROM THERE...WE STARTED OUT AS FRIEND AND THEN HE ASKED ME TO GO OUT WITH HIM AND I SAID YES!!!WE MET ABOUT 4 MONTHS AGO AND FELL IN LOVE AND NOW WE'RE ENGAGED!!!!BUT I DO NEED SOME ADVICE....HIS FAMILY HATES ME!!IM AFRAID THEY WILL DISOWN HIM IF HE MARRIES ME...WHAT SHOULD I DO?? IF YOU HAVE TIME...E-MAIL ME BACK OKAY??? THANKS!!

Wild's Reply - First, I have to know - have you even met face to face? Assuming that you have, there's nothing you can do about his family k? You just have to be secure in your love for each other, and appreciate that there are some things you cannot change, and his family's opinion of you is one of them. Nobody is going to be good enough for their son, but a woman from the internet is unspeakably bad. Don't think me too harsh, my mother in law can't stand me either. BFD. As far as disowning him, there are worse things than not having the family carrot dangled in front of you for the rest of your life. That little threat will come up over and over and over. Either he fears it or he blows it off - that is something else over which you have no control. On the other hand, if he's real concerned about the bux, it's only a matter of time before he takes them seriously. Dunno what to tell you. I think you just need to have a real serious discussion with him about how genuine his concerns about being disowned are, and if they're huge, rethink the whole enchilada.


About the Picture's Thing

I have a comment about the pictures thing. You make it sound like people who won't send their picture out do it simply for the purpose of being dishonest. That is not always true. I tend not to send my picture over the net for issues of safety. As your site points out..you never know who you are actually talking to on your computer. How many poeple want a picture of themselves floating out on the information superhighway where it can be accessed by god knows who and used for god knows what. I think you need to include the issue of personal safety in your discussion of sending pictures over the internet.

Wild's Reply - Oh come on now - I don't make it sound that way, that's just the way it is. In general, people who don't send pictures don't send them for a reason - and that reason has nothing to do with security. You don't have to use the net to send a picture, you can send it to a P.O. Box via snail mail if need be. You think I'm not concerned with personal safety? Uh huh. Get over your bad self and get real. You don't wanna send it, don't send it. But don't tell me that you aren't sending it on the pretense of safety. Based on our recent survey, the percentage of people who would not meet someone without having first seen a picture was like 85%. Good luck finding your soulmate among the remaining 15%.


PAGE TWO OF APRIL '00 LETTERS